After Queensland’s extreme weather over the last few weeks, Adani Australia has provided an update on its Abbot Point operations in North Queensland, stating that flood waters moving across the site did not enter the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, yet flood water did enter the 5,154-hectare Caley Valley Wetlands through an authorised release point as well as from the wetland’s broader catchment area.
According to Adani Australia, flood water entering the wetlands from Abbot Point Operations’ authorised release point was sent for analysis to an accredited third-party, confirming the ‘total suspended solids’, or volume of other debris materials (like soil, plant material, dust and other particulate material) within the flood water. This was recorded as being 58 milligrams per litre.
CEO of Abbot Point Operations Mr Dwayne Freeman said the flood water was not ‘coal-laden sludge’.
“This is a very minor elevation in total suspended solids, following an extraordinary weather event that caused flooding and damage to much of North Queensland including many homes, businesses, and farms,” Mr Freeman said.
“We are confident there will be no environmental impacts to the wetlands area, despite this unprecedented weather event,” he added.
Mr Freeman further said monitoring and inspections on site gave Port officials a better understanding of the reasons for flood waters entering the wetlands.
“The weather has been extreme up here at Abbot Point. Heavy rainfall has seen a significant amount of water accumulating on the Port site and surrounding properties.”
“The flood water from our neighbouring properties on Thursday 7 February 2019 could not be contained any longer and exceeded our systems’ capacity, resulting in flood water entering the wetlands,” Mr Freeman stated.
Due to the extreme weather, operations were suspended at Abbot Point Terminal but since the rain has finally started to subside and conditions at the terminal have improved, the company is currently implementing a recovery plan to return to standard operations this week.
Abbot Point Operations will also continue to work closely with officials from the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science in relation to the flood waters entering the wetlands.